CP's recent article brought to mind one of my favorite stories of speaking Chinese. I live in the US and >1/2 my poker buddies are Jewish.
In my son's swimming class (in the US), I met a woman from Beijing. We spoke a mix of Chinese & English.
The next week, she came into the pool area and sat right next to me. After a moment, she looked intently at me and with great curiousity asked "what's your ethinicity????" I said mostly Scottish with some English & German. She said "no, no, no, Are you Jewish???" (I'm not).
I would have thought it a strange question, but I had just read Hessler's book "Rivertown," in which he discussed the positive view of Jews by many Chinese. I was flattered that she thought my Chinese was good enough that I could be Jewish <g>. I couldn't wait to tell my poker buddies.
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